Friday, 18 June 2010

Here Comes the Summer

After the mixed success of my last set of goals, I’ve put together my next set of goals to see me over the summer. As before I’m giving myself a 6-week window, but I’m making it slightly different in that the 6-weeks is the training period, geared towards getting me ready to hit my goals, but this will then be followed by a test week, in which I’ll tackle a different goal each day.

I’ve tried to avoid goals I can’t do/measure (unlike last time), but having said that... I’ve still included the bench press goal, my thinking being that I now have a bench that’ll allow me to do it, and BH has said if I’m good I can buy more weights which will mean I have enough to do the hundred in theory, even if my body’s not ready for it!

The weight thing, I’m not too bothered about now. I will try and weigh myself out of interest (if only to work out what weights I’m shifting as a % of bodyweight), but I think the training and continued focus on my diet will probably see my body go the way I want it to anyway.

So then, those goals...

Press Ups
Having hit the 100, I don’t want to lose it, so will be looking to maintain this and still be able to knock out 100 in the test week.

Pull Ups
Complete the 50 Pull Ups Program.

Bench Press
Bench 100kg over 5 reps

Break 7min/mi average over my 4mi run (will be a tough one this, at it’s a hilly one)

I may include a swimming goal. When I swim I tend to do 100 lengths crawl (2.5km). I might set a benchmark time in my first training week, and then set a quicker target time over the same distance for my test week

But that’s it. Simple. I’ve also attached my Week A/Week B training plans, as well as my test week. I may well vary from the training plan, as over the coming 6-weeks I am away with work for a number of days (e.g. 4 days in south Wales) which will throw me out a bit, but I’ll work around this somehow.

And all this kicks off week commencing 5th July (I’ve been ill this week so not trained at all; recovery/get back into it week next week; and then in Northern Ireland for a whole week the week after). I’ll just throw some stuff together to keep me ticking over until then.

Witness the fitness. Or failure, as the case may be.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Time Gentlemen Please

Blimey 6 weeks goes so fast!

Not blogged in a while, but I only ever blog when working from home, and I've been out and about quite a bit since my last post, so not had the opportunity. In fact, I even started drafting this post 3 weeks ago! My silence though should not be taken for inaction. No no, plenty of that. Let's see where it got me with a quick round up of how I did against my goals.

100 Press Up Challenge Completed

Check. Did this in the final week, and boy do I feel pleased with myself. This is an excellent programme for those that want to build more upper body strength, tone up, or just fancy being able to say they can do 100 press ups. Been attempting this on and off since Nov '08, and got up to 80ish before breaking my hand last March. Have since been maintaining at the top level.

50 Pull Up Challenge Completed

Well, not quite. As I said previously, I had started off able to do 15, but these were fairly lazy ones to the chin only. After a rethink, I now do them much harder than before and am making good progress. But because I have started much lower (after a wasted couple of weeks doing it the old way as well) I ended the 6 weeks only up to week 3. The main problem slowing me down, is that I didn't always have access to somewhere to do pull-ups. Press-ups, you can do anywhere there's a floor. With the pull-ups, I only had the staff rest room in the office (an old beam in a refurbished mill), which I could only use when empty (to spare my blushes), and when in the office. I do have a scaffolding pole that I use above the steps to the attic, but the bar is quite wide, and I find my grip tires long before my arms do. 

Since then though, I have found the garage roof, into the garage doorway very good, and at the weekend bought one of those JML door gym thingys that sit above the doorway and use your body as a counterweight. Great fun.

I am even now though still on week 3, albeit due to do the last session today. Towards the end of my 6th weeks I added a new goal which was: Get a New Job. In this time, I applied, was assessed, interviewed (twice) and finally got it. The preparation this required meant the spare time I would have dedicated to some of my exercises was instead spent reading up on industry news, my employers to be, and anticipating various questions.

Sometimes goals have to change to reflect different priorities, hey-ho.

Bench Press/Hitting 12.5st

Neither of these goals particularly well thought out: not enough weight or the correct bench to bench 100kg, even if I could;  and no idea what I weigh still, as I have no scales.

I now have a bench with a rack which will allow me to lift 100kg, but only once I get hold of another 30kg of weights!! Still a work in progress. Now I am maintaining my press-ups at Wk6 of the challenge though, I will alternate the high-rep press-up work with low-rep high-weight benching.

As for the weight, I have drastically altered my diet: stripped out masses of the fat I was eating, and replacing with healthier eats: big lunches of pasta (1.5mugs dry), tuna, mayo, sweetcorn and tobasco; snacks of nuts, fruits & seeds instead of chocolate bars. I also finished my protein course and am on the creatine: 1-2x3g in water each day, depending on level of activity. With all this I reckon I have probably gained some towards my goal, but really should make an effort to get weighed!


Wasn't able to get into this as much as I'd hoped, as my injury carried on long into my 6 weeks. However, am now up and running again, combining medium length road runs (4-10mi over some quite hilly roads) with short sharp hill sessions over Pendle (6-7mi with approx 2,200ft of climb).


Not the basis of any of my original  goals, but when it was clear I was going to be off running for longer than I thought, I decided to get down the pool. I can now do 100 lengths (2.5km) in good order of front crawl, in just under 1:15, though still with some niggles which comes down to technique. I will probably factor this in to the next set of goals.

My next post will hopefully not be as long coming as this one was, and will have another set of 6-week goals. The main focus of these will be on the running and the pull-ups, but I'm now going to scratch my head over what these will look like.